Curiosity question (melee in IF)...

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Fred M. Sloniker

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May 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/27/98
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I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)

Obviously, if a large part of the game is going to be hand-to-hand,
just implementing HIT TROLL WITH SWORD isn't satisfactory. For one
thing, you're going to be typing it a lot, and for another, it doesn't
really offer much challenge to either the player or the author.
Approaches that I've seen involve testing the player's reflexes
(everywhere from 'Doom' to 'Quest for Glory'), turning it into a
Roshambo contest (a couple of old console games), or just making the
graphics impressive enough that you don't mind poking the circle
button four million times (FF7 comes to mind). Oh, and there was
Monkey Island's approach, which turned it into sort of a 'gather the
ten conversational keys to unlock the swordmaster' sort of thing. But
I'm not completely satisfied with any of those.

So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?


George Caswell

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May 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/27/98
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On Wed, 27 May 1998, Fred M. Sloniker wrote:

> I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
> and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
> significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
> discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
> it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)
>

Don't toss it out. Not many people here try that sort of thing any
more. It's become "unfashionable" to have to fight things in the game.
If you can make it work, or have a better way, experiment. Maybe
something good will come out of it.

> Obviously, if a large part of the game is going to be hand-to-hand,
> just implementing HIT TROLL WITH SWORD isn't satisfactory. For one
> thing, you're going to be typing it a lot, and for another, it doesn't
> really offer much challenge to either the player or the author.
> Approaches that I've seen involve testing the player's reflexes
> (everywhere from 'Doom' to 'Quest for Glory'), turning it into a
> Roshambo contest (a couple of old console games), or just making the
> graphics impressive enough that you don't mind poking the circle
> button four million times (FF7 comes to mind). Oh, and there was
> Monkey Island's approach, which turned it into sort of a 'gather the
> ten conversational keys to unlock the swordmaster' sort of thing. But
> I'm not completely satisfied with any of those.
>
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
>

I'm planning a game in which combat will be something of a constant
concern. A lot of the puzzles are going to be concerned with ways of
destroying enemies. The better ways are not going to rely on face-to-face
combat. Some ideas I'd toyed around with were baiting guards toward a
certain area by setting off alarms, using that as bait or diversion,
either to trap or attack them or whatever. The basic idea is to make the
player not -need- to go into regular combat unless they've given
themselves an advantage. In my game the player will also have a limited
number of easy-out solutions (missiles or explosives) to win fights
quickly or solve certain problems without a lot of thought..

Obviously, this is an experiment. The game in question is going to be
an experiment in automata (NPC's that do what you tell them to and aren't
too bright on their own), combat, and possibly in the movement system I
discussed here as an alternative to the compass a few years back... I
don't know if the end result would be a good, fun, well-playable game, or
an ugly mess, but I hope to find out.

There are some other things I might do to make regular down-and-dirty
combat in IF work better. For instance, make distractions, and make them
work.. if combat's going to be a regular occurrance, use the idea of
default weapons (so you just have to "shoot" or "attack" instead of "shoot
with" or "attack with".) Make reasonable combinations work the way you'd
expect them to (if you punch someone in the gut, it's easier to kick them
in the teeth or throw them off the cliff before they straighten up
again)... Make enemies chase you when you run away (when applicable),
make the enemy interactive in a general sense... Just make sure the
player is aware from the start how combat is going to work in your game--
even give them some practice... You might also take a cue from the old
(and new) Rockman games, make certain weapons have special advantages on
some targets.. But I think, particularly when you're trying something new
like this, you're going to have limited success-- so you may also want
single combat like that be not just the 'tedious' way to fight, but also
the more dangerous way, and do something like I'm doing, that is, give the
player lots of ways to increase their chances in a fight by leaps and
bounds, and help them avoid ending up in a fight without having seen it
coming. (If you go into a room and -then- see the troll which kills you
with the axe, it's not so nice as if you can see the troll from down the
hall, maybe have a turn or three before he even sees you...)

I personally think combat isn't really what IF is suited for-- but I
think IF could benefit from some more dynamic behavior-- wandering
thieves to make your life harder, randomized events and such that keep the
game from being just a predictable sequence of moves. Only experiments
can show whether this can work or not.

---GEC


Joe Mason

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May 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/27/98
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Fred M. Sloniker wrote:
>
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

Princess Bride style:

> USE BONETTIES DEFENSE
Inigo: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?
Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?

> USE TIBAL
Man in black: Naturally...but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero.
Don't you?
Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa...which I have.

Joe

Neil K.

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote re combat in IF:

> Don't toss it out. Not many people here try that sort of thing any
> more. It's become "unfashionable" to have to fight things in the game.

Right. Heavy powdered wigs and codpieces and women's dresses with giant
bustles the size of coffee tables are unfashionable; probably because
they're ridiculous and likely hideously uncomfortable. Combat in textual
IF is unfashionable because most people find it tedious and annoying.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Dan Shiovitz

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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In article <6khh9v$ppi$1...@gte2.gte.net>,

Fred M. Sloniker <laz...@gte.net> wrote:
>I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
>and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
>significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
>discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
>it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)
>
>Obviously, if a large part of the game is going to be hand-to-hand,
>just implementing HIT TROLL WITH SWORD isn't satisfactory. For one
>thing, you're going to be typing it a lot, and for another, it doesn't
>really offer much challenge to either the player or the author.
[..]

I've been thinking about this some for my non-comp game, which does
include some sword-fighting. My current feeling is pretty much what
you say: repeatedly typing "HIT OPPONENT" not only isn't very
interesting, it doesn't do a very good job of capturing the feel of
real combat, which isn't divided neatly into one-move-sized chunks.

I think I'm going abstract the player's control a bi.: They won't get
to direct how every blow is taken, just the occasional "important"
ones. Ideally, there should be opportunities in combat to take single,
decisive actions rather than gradually battering down the opponent's
defenses. I'll see how it goes.

--
(Dan Shiovitz) (d...@cs.wisc.edu) (look, I have a new e-mail address)
(http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~dbs) (and a new web page also)
(the content, of course, is the same)

Jason Westman

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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Fred M. Sloniker wrote:
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

Violence isn't the answer to this one!

=> Jason!
--
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day--set fire to him, and he's warm for
the rest of his life.

Spamblocked, remove passion to reply!

michael...@ey.com

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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In article <356CBB4E...@execulink.com>,

jcm...@uwaterloo.ca wrote:
>
> Fred M. Sloniker wrote:
> >
> > So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> > in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> > WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
>
> Princess Bride style:
>
> > USE BONETTIES DEFENSE
> Inigo: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?
> Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
> Inigo: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?
>
> > USE TIBAL
> Man in black: Naturally...but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero.
> Don't you?
> Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa...which I have.
>
> Joe
>

Actually, this doesn't have to be such an absurd idea. I could imagine a
transcript like this (and please forgive my monstrous ignorance of actual
fencing terms and techniques):

> DRAW SWORD
Your opponent, seeing you unsheathe your weapon, readies his own.

Before you can react, your opponent makes a quick thrust to your left!

> PARRY LEFT
An admirable counter; alas, your opponent's strike was a mere feint, and has
left you unguarded on your right side. Your opponent's blade flickers out
again, wounding you.

You are bleeding slightly.

> THRUST RIGHT
Your opponent anticipates you, raising his sword to block yours.

Your opponent attempts a low thrust!

> RIPOSTE
You parry the attack elegantly -- and return with a quick thrust of your own,
wounding your opponent.

Your opponent seems winded.

****

... and so on. For the sake of simplicity, I'm taking "combat" to be
equivalent to "swordplay" -- but you could implement this system for any sort
of weapon, using different verbs and terminology as appropriate. (SWITCH
PISTOL TO AUTO. SPRAY ROOM.)

You'd have to take a couple of things into consideration:

1) WHY ALL THESE STRANGE VERBS?
It would have to be clear to the player that at some point in the game
he/she's going to need to use unconventional verbs in a fencing context.
Swordplay would have to be a visible theme in the game -- perhaps the player
is an apprentice swordsman learning his trade. Or something.

Anyway, it's a bit like the horseriding scene in "Edifice", I think. You're
using some unconventional syntax there (LEAN LEFT. LEAN RIGHT. LEAN FORWARD.),
but the story does a good job of guiding you through it, and letting you know
that those are the kinds of things you'll need to be typing to solve the
puzzle.

2) WHAT'S THE POINT ANYWAY?
The combat should serve some sort of purpose in terms of game plot. This isn't
a comment on how you should implement combat so much as on whether you should
implement it at all. Combat for combat's sake in a text adventure game
probably isn't such a hot idea. If I wanted to play a game that tested my
fighting skill and nothing else, I'd go to the arcade and dump quarters into
"Virtua-Fighter."

Maybe the ultimate puzzle in your game is a master swordsman guarding the
magic portal (or whatever). He can't be bribed, he can't be tricked, and he
never sleeps. The only way to get past him is to hone your own skills enough
to beat him.

> RIPOSTE
Unfortunately, you never took the time to practice your riposte, and you
blunder the maneuver hopelessly. Your opponent thrashes you soundly and sends
you on your way.

> GO BACK TO THE OLD HERMIT. LEARN RIPOSTE.
The hermit welcomes you back with a knowing smile, and soon has you practicing
the riposte until your shoulders are sore. Within a few weeks, you are skilled
enough at it that you could probably pull it off against a skilled opponent.

Your wizened green mentor chuckles throatily to himself, and goes back to
levitating rocks.

[Your skill has just gone up by two points.]

****

I don't know -- mine is but a single voice among thousands. But if I knew that
your game had this great, complex, randomized, descriptive combat system --
and that the player is constantly forced to use it against dozens of
"wandering monsters" that blunder at random through a generic cave-dungeon, I
probably wouldn't bother to download it.

--M.

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

L. Ross Raszewski

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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In article <6khh9v$ppi$1...@gte2.gte.net>,

laz...@gte.net wrote:
>
> I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
> and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
> significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
> discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
> it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)
>
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
>
>

Though it's not a particularly _good_ game, or system, there's a fight scene
in thegraphical game "Noctropolis", which uses a somewhat complex system --
you're offered a conversation tree-style list of options, includiong both
dialogue and actions, such as [<kick high> <cry> "Look, we're supposed to be
on the same side here" <punch>]

Nizam U Ahmed

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
to

Fred M. Sloniker wrote:
>

>
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

I would use a choose-your-own-adventure style system, believe it or
not:

You hit the troll squarely on the temple, sending him reeling onto
the floor.
Do you:
1. Go in for the kill
2. Take up a defensive posture
3. Grab his club

Please don't mention 'mimesis' anyone. :)

okbl...@usa.net

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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In article <6khh9v$ppi$1...@gte2.gte.net>,

laz...@gte.net wrote:
>
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
>
"Heh. Whadda ya know: It disintegrated." -- Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers in the
24th and 1/2 century

I would capitalize on IF's ability to describe things, perhaps even in lurid
detail. Things like: STRIKE LOW, STRIKE HIGH, SLASH, HIT SHIELD ARM, GOUGE
EYES, KNEE GROIN for commands.

Combined with a set of text descriptions that could be generalized where
needed: "[Arthur] doubles up in pain as you plant your knee firmly in his
groin." versus "There is a hollow clanking sound accompanied by the sharp
cracking sound of your knee against Marvin's metal crotch."

I'm not saying it's a good idea. It's just how I would do it. ;-)

[ok]

Michael Straight

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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On Wed, 27 May 1998, Fred M. Sloniker wrote:

> I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
> and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
> significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
> discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
> it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)

I'm something of an RPG fan and have wondered whether a good RPG could be
implemented in Inform or TADS. I think it would be fun to play an RPG
that had to rely on story-telling and great descriptions of monsters,
spell effects, and locations instead of fancy graphics (although those can
be fun too!)

The thing that makes RPG-type combat work well is tactics, statistics and
randomness. In most IF combat I've seen, there's one way to successfully
win the combat and it's just a matter of figuring it out (e.g. the sword
is useless, but you can lure the dragon into a trap, or type 'kill troll
with sword' three times).

Statistics and randomness would allow you to try a variety of tactics,
some of which may work better than others. If the dragon has 50 hit
points and the sword does 5 points of damage, you have at least a chance
of killing it that way. And maybe you can also use some magic to hinder
the dragon, harm it, protect yourself, whatever, to increase your odds.

And you might also have the option of luring it into a trap if you're
clever, or there might be a magic wand hidden somewhere that could kill
the dragon easily, unless you want to save it for use against the giant.
Or you could ignore the dragon and go on to something else, forfeiting the
magic armor he guards, which isn't necessary to win the game, but would
make it easier to survive the room with all the gargoyles.

The player wouldn't necessarily have to *see* the statistics (in fact, I
think text approximations of how hurt the dragon is, how hurt the player
is would be fun), but if there are a variety of combat methods (combine
the weapons/spells of RPGs with the "puzzle solution" methods of IF such
as luring the dragon into a trap) then combat becomes strategic, involving
allocation of resources (spells, healing potions, magic wands, ammunition,
whatever) and not just another lock-and-key puzzle.

Obviously, I'm using a bunch of cliches in this example, but you could be
very inventive with it - the key would be to combine "hit points" with
"puzzle resolutions to combat" and "resource management" to create several
possible ways to win the combat, each with different probabilities for
success, and some solutions using up resources that make subsequent
combats more challenging.

SMTIRCAHIAGEHLT


Bob Newell

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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: > So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game

: > in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
: > WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

You can do what they do in the "BBS Door Games" :

(A)ttack
(R)un away
(F)ight to the finish

Very easy to implement and has great appeal if you are under ten years old.

Bob Newell


Jonadab

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
to

Fred M. Sloniker <laz...@gte.net> wrote in article
<6khh9v$ppi$1...@gte2.gte.net>...


> I was brainstorming the other day about various projects to undertake,
> and the thought of having an IF game where hand-to-hand combat was a
> significant part of the game popped up. It probably would have been
> discarded fairly quickly, except I couldn't decide how to implement
> it... and I hate questions I can't answer. (grin)
>

> Obviously, if a large part of the game is going to be hand-to-hand,
> just implementing HIT TROLL WITH SWORD isn't satisfactory. For one
> thing, you're going to be typing it a lot, and for another, it doesn't
> really offer much challenge to either the player or the author.

...


> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

I think I would try to use the z-machine's timed input facilities. Say for
example that Player is in Room with Enemy. Typing FIGHT ENEMY would cause
a "fight" routine to start, and that routine would use timed input, mapping
certain keystrokes (p for punch? Specifics would depend on the game) to
attacks, and there would need to be an option to "flee". Upon victory,
death, or fleeing, the subroutine would exit. The routine could even call
Time() from time to time if you didn't want the rest of the game suspended
during the fight. Of course, attempts to "flee" could fail and result in
continued fighting or death -- again, depending on the game.


From 501 uses for peanut butter:
408. Talking to peanut butter for at least 20 minutes
three times a week will improve your IQ.

My Current Quote: http://www.bright.net/~jonadab/

"I" /\ \I /\ I\ /\ I) /\ I) I) 1 /_ II "I" \I [" "I"
\I \/ I\ II I/ II I) \a I) I\ 1 \/ TT I o I\ [_ I

Brian Smith

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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okbl...@usa.net wrote:
: I would capitalize on IF's ability to describe things, perhaps even in lurid

: detail. Things like: STRIKE LOW, STRIKE HIGH, SLASH, HIT SHIELD ARM, GOUGE
: EYES, KNEE GROIN for commands.

Ouch? (esp. that last one :)

And as far as repeating the long commands to strike blows, there's always
the AGAIN (or whatever command to repeat the last action) or maybe
something even shorter for combat situations.

--

-----------------------------------------------------------
Brian Smith "Mr. Gideon... you're not
aval...@earthling.net paying attention..."
- Eric Draven, The Crow
-----------------------------------------------------------

Eric O'Dell

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May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
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On Wed, 27 May 1998 17:12:16 GMT, laz...@gte.net (Fred M. Sloniker)
wrote:

>So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
>in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
>WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

If combat was going to be a regular part of the game, I don't think
I'd implement it as text. I'd invoke a subsidiary graphical app to
handle it. It would be analogous to the switch from map view to
tactical view that takes place in a lot of "overhead view" RPG's.

Sid Meier's Pirates!, to use my favorite example, could easily have
been implemented, and perhaps even improved upon, in this mixed
format. Navigation and combat would have remained graphical, but time
spent in port and wandering on foot through the wilderness might have
been implemented as a text adventure.


--Eric


+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
| "I have come a very long way from myself only to realize that |
| identity is a skill and self-betrayal is a habit. Once lost, the |
| former is very hard to regain; once gained, the latter is very |
| hard to lose." ---I. Corvus, _The Europe of Our Dreams_ |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+

andreww

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
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Neil K. <fake...@anti-spam.address> wrote in article
<fake-mail-270...@van-52-0133.direct.ca>...

> George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote re combat in IF:
>
> > Don't toss it out. Not many people here try that sort of thing any
> > more. It's become "unfashionable" to have to fight things in the game.
>
> Right. Heavy powdered wigs and codpieces and women's dresses with giant
> bustles the size of coffee tables are unfashionable; probably because
> they're ridiculous and likely hideously uncomfortable.

Neil, you cad! How dare you criticise my dress sense like that <sob, sob>?
I'll have to buy a new powdered wig just to cheer myself up....

Andrew.

Joe Mason

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

michael...@ey.com wrote:
>
> > Princess Bride style:
> >
> > > USE BONETTIES DEFENSE
> > Inigo: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?
> > Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
> > Inigo: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?
> >
> > > USE TIBAL
> > Man in black: Naturally...but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero.
> > Don't you?
> > Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa...which I have.
> >
> > Joe
> >
>
> Actually, this doesn't have to be such an absurd idea. I could imagine

I was serious.

Joe

(No, honestly! I mean that!)

Ben

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

In article <jr9kk6...@camelot.bellsouth.net>, Brian Smith
<aval...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

> okbl...@usa.net wrote:
> : I would capitalize on IF's ability to describe things, perhaps even in lurid
> : detail. Things like: STRIKE LOW, STRIKE HIGH, SLASH, HIT SHIELD ARM, GOUGE
> : EYES, KNEE GROIN for commands.
>
> Ouch? (esp. that last one :)
>
> And as far as repeating the long commands to strike blows, there's always
> the AGAIN (or whatever command to repeat the last action) or maybe
> something even shorter for combat situations.

"g". I always have used G for AGAIN, ever since 1985 or so when I first
discovered infocom - its my favorite shortcut. Well, that and Z. :)

-Ben

--
bhi...@san.rr.com
http://members.tripod.com/~tunnels/

michael...@ey.com

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

In article <356E41A6...@execulink.com>,

Well, okay then, read the rest of my post -- my idea wasn't all that
different (just a bit more generalized).

-M.

Maynard Case

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
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In article <01bd8a67$880c1640$06118fd1@jonadab>,

"Jonadab" <jon...@bright.net> writes:
>
> Fred M. Sloniker <laz...@gte.net> wrote in article
> <6khh9v$ppi$1...@gte2.gte.net>...
> > So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> > in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> > WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
>
> I think I would try to use the z-machine's timed input facilities. Say for
> example that Player is in Room with Enemy. Typing FIGHT ENEMY would cause
> a "fight" routine to start, and that routine would use timed input, mapping
> certain keystrokes (p for punch? Specifics would depend on the game) to
> attacks, and there would need to be an option to "flee". Upon victory,
> death, or fleeing, the subroutine would exit. The routine could even call
> Time() from time to time if you didn't want the rest of the game suspended
> during the fight. Of course, attempts to "flee" could fail and result in
> continued fighting or death -- again, depending on the game.
>
I agree. The main problem with combat systems would be the alternate
moves thing - you slash and he blocks, then he clubs you and you step
away and so on.

The timed system is probably necessary - an idea I had would be to have
a sword moves system, where you 'learn' moves from a swordmaster, or by
finding scrolls a la Enchanter. More complex moves would have longer names
and be slower to type.

The main problems with this: People don't like games where you have to be
able to type quick. I reckon a part of learning the moves would be to be
able to type them quickly, so I don't think this is quite so much of a problem
(although people would probably still complain :)
Also, 'again' or 'g' ruins the whole idea. As does using the up arrow in
interpreters to repeat the previous command. I'm not sure how it would be
possible to avoid / disable this.

Any ideas?

Maynard

--
m...@dcs.ed.ac.uk http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/~mc
3rd Year Computer Science Undergraduate, Edinburgh University


David Brain

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

In article <6kk6gd$lb6$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, michael...@ey.com ()
wrote:

> Actually, this doesn't have to be such an absurd idea. I could imagine a
> transcript like this (and please forgive my monstrous ignorance of
> actual
> fencing terms and techniques):

>lengthy duelling section snipped<

I've seen this done in the "Nine Princes in Amber" game*, which is also a
great example of wide-ranging story construction since there must have
been a fairly large number of different endings (and I never could find a
"good" one).
I can only remember that the plot stuck fairly closely to the books (in
that certain problems had the same solutions as they had in the books)
without forcing a specific route to the end.
However, the sword-fighting sequences were pretty exciting despite being
in text only.

David Brain
London, UK
(*a game I would love to play again but I have no idea of year or
publisher. I played it on an Atari ST in about 1986 or so.)

> Light creates shadow; light destroys shadow. <
> Such is the transience of darkness. <

Derek Haslam

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

Fred M. Sloniker wrote:
> So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a game
> in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT MARVIN
> WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?

In article <356CEEF7...@starplace.compassion>, Jason Westman
<matan...@starplace.compassion> answered:

>> Violence isn't the answer to this one!
>>
>> => Jason!

I'm with you, Jason. But what *I* mean is that I would *not* implement
complicated combat. I would at most state that combat was occuring and
maybe list the strengths of player and attacker.

Joyce.

--
___
| |__| Joy...@arcade.demon.co.uk
\|oyce | |aslam dljh...@argonet.co.uk

Fractals, Gateway to Karos, Powerbase Support, and more fractals


Jason Westman

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

michael...@ey.com wrote:
> Maybe the ultimate puzzle in your game is a master swordsman guarding the
> magic portal (or whatever). He can't be bribed, he can't be tricked, and he
> never sleeps. The only way to get past him is to hone your own skills enough
> to beat him.
>
> > RIPOSTE
> Unfortunately, you never took the time to practice your riposte, and you
> blunder the maneuver hopelessly. Your opponent thrashes you soundly and sends
> you on your way.
>
> > GO BACK TO THE OLD HERMIT. LEARN RIPOSTE.
> The hermit welcomes you back with a knowing smile, and soon has you practicing
> the riposte until your shoulders are sore. Within a few weeks, you are skilled
> enough at it that you could probably pull it off against a skilled opponent.
>
> Your wizened green mentor chuckles throatily to himself, and goes back to
> levitating rocks.
>
> [Your skill has just gone up by two points.]

Isn't this the first level of Edifice?


=> Jason!
--
`Authors of great quotes are remembered forever.'
--Unknown

Joe Mason

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

michael...@ey.com wrote:
>
> > > Actually, this doesn't have to be such an absurd idea. I could imagine
> >
> > I was serious.
> >
> > Joe
> >
> > (No, honestly! I mean that!)
> >
>
> Well, okay then, read the rest of my post -- my idea wasn't all that
> different (just a bit more generalized).

Yeah, I know. I was going to post more detail about WHY I was serious,
but I figured I'd just end up repeating most of what you said. I think
the main point is to give the player a good range of options which don't
rely tedious detail in description.

Joe

George Caswell

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

On Thu, 28 May 1998, Neil K. wrote:

> George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote re combat in IF:
>
> > Don't toss it out. Not many people here try that sort of thing any
> > more. It's become "unfashionable" to have to fight things in the game.
>
> Right. Heavy powdered wigs and codpieces and women's dresses with giant
> bustles the size of coffee tables are unfashionable; probably because

> they're ridiculous and likely hideously uncomfortable. Combat in textual
> IF is unfashionable because most people find it tedious and annoying.
>

Combat in textual IF is unfashionable because no one's satisfied with
the attempts that have been made so far to put combat into IF, and most
everyone's too much a pussy to do anything about it except give up and say
it just shouldn't even be tried. Like you, for example. What seems most
unfashionable in the IF community these days is change, and that is bad.
IF as a whole can only benefit when authors decide to experiment with new
things.

---GEC


Jon Petersen

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May 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/29/98
to

David Brain wrote:
>
> In article <6kk6gd$lb6$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, michael...@ey.com ()
> wrote:
>
> > Actually, this doesn't have to be such an absurd idea. I could imagine a
> > transcript like this (and please forgive my monstrous ignorance of
> > actual
> > fencing terms and techniques):
>
> >lengthy duelling section snipped<
>
> I've seen this done in the "Nine Princes in Amber" game*, which is also a
> great example of wide-ranging story construction since there must have
> been a fairly large number of different endings (and I never could find a
> "good" one).
> I can only remember that the plot stuck fairly closely to the books (in
> that certain problems had the same solutions as they had in the books)
> without forcing a specific route to the end.
> However, the sword-fighting sequences were pretty exciting despite being
> in text only.
>
> David Brain
> London, UK
> (*a game I would love to play again but I have no idea of year or
> publisher. I played it on an Atari ST in about 1986 or so.)

Telarium, wasn't it?

Jon

Jonadab

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

> > And as far as repeating the long commands to strike blows, there's
always
> > the AGAIN (or whatever command to repeat the last action) or maybe
> > something even shorter for combat situations.
>
> "g". I always have used G for AGAIN, ever since 1985 or so when I first
> discovered infocom - its my favorite shortcut. Well, that and Z. :)

Those are good, but my personal favourite is "x" for "examine". Perhaps
because I use it roughly one out of every two moves.

--

From 501 uses for peanut butter:

132. Cover the parking lot with it. Do doughnuts.

My Current Quote: "Ah, this is obviously some new
definition of 'safe' of which I was not previously aware."

Jonadab

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

> > > So I decided to poll the IF writers. How would *you* implement a
game
> > > in which combat was something a little more involved than SHOOT
MARVIN
> > > WITH DISINTEGRATION PISTOL?
> >
> > I think I would try to use the z-machine's timed input facilities. Say
for
> > example that Player is in Room with Enemy. Typing FIGHT ENEMY would
cause
> > a "fight" routine to start, and that routine would use timed input,
mapping
> > certain keystrokes (p for punch? Specifics would depend on the game)
to
> > attacks, and there would need to be an option to "flee". Upon victory,
> > death, or fleeing, the subroutine would exit. The routine could even
call
> > Time() from time to time if you didn't want the rest of the game
suspended
> > during the fight. Of course, attempts to "flee" could fail and result
in
> > continued fighting or death -- again, depending on the game.
> >
> I agree. The main problem with combat systems would be the alternate
> moves thing - you slash and he blocks, then he clubs you and you step
> away and so on.
>
> The timed system is probably necessary - an idea I had would be to have
> a sword moves system, where you 'learn' moves from a swordmaster, or by
> finding scrolls a la Enchanter. More complex moves would have longer
names
> and be slower to type.

Key sequences, perhaps? Much as I like them, I think I'd stay away from
trying to support buckies.



> The main problems with this: People don't like games where you have to be

> able to type quick. I reckon a part of learning the moves would be to be
> able to type them quickly, so I don't think this is quite so much of a
problem
> (although people would probably still complain :)

If it were me, I wouldn't play the game more than a couple of times unless
the combat were easy -- but that's just because I'm not "into" combat games
very much.

> Also, 'again' or 'g' ruins the whole idea. As does using the up arrow in
> interpreters to repeat the previous command. I'm not sure how it would be

> possible to avoid / disable this.

No problem. If the input is obtained via the aread opcode instead of
through the parser's usual system, the parser doesn't do anything with the
input at all. That's why you need a "flee" key, to allow the user to get
back to a prompt so he can try something else other than fighting. You
wouldn't have to call it "flee", though -- just "stop fighting" or
whatever.

One possible way to lay out the keys would be to assume a QWERTY keyboard
and basically use a section of it like a keypad. Thus,
T - Strike High
G - Strike Middle
B - Strike Low
R - Kick High
F - Kick Middle
V - Kick Low
Q - Quit Fighting
Z - Request Truce
To change the strike weapon:
1 - Fist
2 - Staff (if posessed)
3 - Sword (if posessed)
4 - Rifle (if posessed)
5 - Disintegration Pistol (if posessed)

> Any ideas?

The particulars would depend on the game, of course. In the above example,
pressing Q would allow the enemy another strike or two and then return to
the prompt. However, the enemy's each_turn routine could start up the
fight again if you don't either run away or talk him out of it in one turn
(or n turns, depending on his level of patience).

If you run out of hit points, then the routine should set deadflag and
exit.

--
From 501 uses for peanut butter:

424. "Back in my day we didn't HAVE so much peanut
butter. Peanut butter was for Sunday dinner ONLY."

Neil K.

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote:

> Combat in textual IF is unfashionable because no one's satisfied with
> the attempts that have been made so far to put combat into IF, and most
> everyone's too much a pussy to do anything about it except give up and say

> it just shouldn't even be tried. Like you, for example. [...]

Mmm. Now that's a deeply cogent and convincing argument. Still, I suppose
it's considerably easier to accuse someone of being a pussy than it is to
go out and prove your the merit of your claim by actually trying to
implement something by way of example.

Wuss.

okbl...@usa.net

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

In article <jr9kk6...@camelot.bellsouth.net>,
Brian Smith <aval...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> okbl...@usa.net wrote:
> : I would capitalize on IF's ability to describe things, perhaps even in
lurid
> : detail. Things like: STRIKE LOW, STRIKE HIGH, SLASH, HIT SHIELD ARM,
GOUGE
> : EYES, KNEE GROIN for commands.
>
> Ouch? (esp. that last one :)
>
> And as far as repeating the long commands to strike blows, there's always
> the AGAIN (or whatever command to repeat the last action) or maybe
> something even shorter for combat situations.
>
I figured everyone who played IF was a touch-typist at 110wpm.

Boy, would I be careful using this kind of thing. There'd have to be some
major plot-point at least possible in the combat. For example:

Smog the dragon strikes!
> ROLL LEFT
You roll behind the pile of coins. The dragon rears back, preparing to
breathe fire.
> LUNGE AT MISSING SCALE
In a valiant attempt you lunge toward Smog, aiming for the missing scale the
old hobbit said was his only vulnerability. Your sword meets the dragon's
scaly chest with a loud crash, and snaps under the force of the blow.

Huh. No missing scale. Guess the hobbit was wrong.

The dragon breathes....

[ok]

Joe Mason

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

Jonadab wrote:
>
> One possible way to lay out the keys would be to assume a QWERTY keyboard
> and basically use a section of it like a keypad. Thus,
> T - Strike High
> G - Strike Middle
> B - Strike Low
> R - Kick High
> F - Kick Middle
> V - Kick Low
> Q - Quit Fighting
> Z - Request Truce
> To change the strike weapon:
> 1 - Fist
> 2 - Staff (if posessed)
> 3 - Sword (if posessed)
> 4 - Rifle (if posessed)
> 5 - Disintegration Pistol (if posessed)

Well, I'm strongly against this system, since it basically is the oxect
opposite of what a text adventure is all about for me. But if you DO
use it, keep in mind that some of us have Dvorak keyboards. Either have
two mappings depending on keyboard type, or allow the user to remap the
keys, or something.

Joe

Jonadab

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May 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/30/98
to

I didn't say it was a good way. Actually, I personally am not interested
in including melee in any of my games, but I do think that if you do, timed
input is the way to go. I like the idea of allowing the user to redefine
the keys; in fact, it would be especially good if the user could save these
key definitions for future use. I also like the idea of allowing the
player to create his own shortcuts and macros in IF, which could possibly
spawn a new thread completely -- how would you implement player-defined
grammar in Inform? (TADS users (or whatever) could discuss how to do it in
TADS (or whatever), but I don't know enough about TADS (etc.) to attempt
such a discussion regarding any language but Inform (unless you count
BASIC...).

> Joe
>

--
From 501 uses for peanut butter:

417. If you cannot get to the laundromat and you run
out of clean laundry, wear peanut butter under
your clothing to cover the smell.

George Caswell

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

On Sat, 30 May 1998, Joe Mason wrote:

> Jonadab wrote:
> >
> > One possible way to lay out the keys would be to assume a QWERTY keyboard
> > and basically use a section of it like a keypad. Thus,
> > T - Strike High
> > G - Strike Middle

(...Super street fighter secret codes omitted for brevity)


>
> Well, I'm strongly against this system, since it basically is the oxect
> opposite of what a text adventure is all about for me. But if you DO

<shrug> Different people have different ideas. I don't think anyone
should be 'against' someone else's idea. I think that inhibits
experimentation. If you think it's a bad idea, don't want it in your
game, or don't think you'd want to play a game using that idea, that's a
whole other ball of wax. I assume that's what you really meant, anyway..

This type of system is a lot like the systems used in online games on
BBSes... It would work, but that kind of combat gets dull. Usually the
printed strings lose their quasi-dynamic nature after all have been
printed three or four times, the different strikes all end up looking the
same, and it turns into monotony.

One basic problem with any combat in IF is a lack of information. In
any kind of graphical game there's a lot of information about where the
characters are, what their states are, etc. That can't work in IF because
we haven't made the games able to relay that sort of runtime-determined
information to us in a way that fits the rest of the environment. RPG's
and MUDs have systems that could work, but these usually involve a lot of
proprietary language and special rules and exceptions for a player to
learn. I do think IF-as-RPG can be a worthwhile thing to do, particularly
if it's an RPG player that you expect to have playing the game. (Sort of
like an automated GM.)

I think it's far too early in the game to say "combat in IF shouldn't
be done", though, since hardly anyone's ever tried it. But here's how I
see the problem right now- I'm not necessarily right, this is just how I
see the problem.
1: Current systems could be vastly improved with a little forethought.
If, for example, there's only one gun in the game, the parser should never
ask you what you want to shoot someone with. If it does have to
disambiguate, it should disambiguate between appropriate weapons only...
2: You almost certainly can't relay enough information between player
and game (either way) to make blow-by-blow combat work terribly well,
particularly when the player is expected to have to go too many 'rounds'
of normal ("attack enemy.") combat. That means shorten the fights, or
make combat rounds take place over larger intervals than just blow-by-blow
(which would shift blow-by-blow decisions to the game itself), or use
short, blow-by-blow combats part of a more dynamic fight, in which other
actions (movement between rooms, etc.) are relevant...

One variation you might try for shits and giggles is combat between
sailboats. If the player learns enough about how to control the boat it
sure as hell wouldn't break down into "attack enemy. again. again.",
etc.. sail(6) on some Unix systems (it's one of the BSD games) could give
you a general idea what I mean.

There are two basic questions, here, can it be done well, and should it
be done at all. I'm pretty sure 'yes' to both. It can be done well if
someone figures out how, and I for one think IF worlds shouldn't
necessarily be static outside of what actions the players take. Forcing a
player to think on their feet, deal with conditions that may not have come
up the last time, is appealing, at least.

---GEC


George Caswell

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

On Sat, 30 May 1998, Neil K. wrote:

> George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote:
>
> > Combat in textual IF is unfashionable because no one's satisfied with
> > the attempts that have been made so far to put combat into IF, and most
> > everyone's too much a pussy to do anything about it except give up and say
> > it just shouldn't even be tried. Like you, for example. [...]
>
> Mmm. Now that's a deeply cogent and convincing argument. Still, I suppose
> it's considerably easier to accuse someone of being a pussy than it is to
> go out and prove your the merit of your claim by actually trying to
> implement something by way of example.
>

Yes, it is a lot easier to accuse someone of being a pussy than to
implement a game that proves IF combat can work, and work well. It's also
a lot easier to yell out "Hey, that can't be done" at someone's idea than
it is to write -anything- that proves the idea can't work, and that's
goddamn weak.

If I insult you, it's not for not implementing a combat system, or even
for not trying to implement a combat system (esp. if you don't want one)-
it's for just saying it can't be done, without having even tried it
yourself. I'd rather you didn't continue to tell people not to try things
that you can't do. Innovation would grind to a goddamn halt.

---GEC


Neil K.

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote:

> If I insult you, it's not for not implementing a combat system [...]

Never fear. It actually said quite a lot about you. Thanks!

Joe Mason

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

George Caswell wrote:
>
> > Well, I'm strongly against this system, since it basically is the oxect
> > opposite of what a text adventure is all about for me. But if you DO
>
> <shrug> Different people have different ideas. I don't think anyone
> should be 'against' someone else's idea. I think that inhibits
> experimentation. If you think it's a bad idea, don't want it in your
> game, or don't think you'd want to play a game using that idea, that's a
> whole other ball of wax. I assume that's what you really meant, anyway..

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. Sorry.

> 2: You almost certainly can't relay enough information between player
> and game (either way) to make blow-by-blow combat work terribly well,
> particularly when the player is expected to have to go too many 'rounds'
> of normal ("attack enemy.") combat. That means shorten the fights, or
> make combat rounds take place over larger intervals than just blow-by-blow
> (which would shift blow-by-blow decisions to the game itself), or use
> short, blow-by-blow combats part of a more dynamic fight, in which other
> actions (movement between rooms, etc.) are relevant...

That's how I'm planning to implement it in one of the 3 games I'm
working on (and possibly a second as well, though I'm not clear on how
much combat will factor into it yet). For the most part,

> ATTACK GUARD

(for axample) will simply either run the entire fight, giving you a good
vivid description, or it will make an opening move and abort it ("You
move in low, but because of the guard's position in the doorway, you are
forced to come straight on - a useless gesture. His sword flicks out,
forcing you back to your original position."), making it clear that
another tactic must be used. Combats with more depth will be broken
into chunks, ended not by single blows, but by "interesting events" -
someone else comes in, the enemy stumbles and you end up with your sword
at his throat, the ground heaves, he manages to disarm you, etc.

> One variation you might try for shits and giggles is combat between
> sailboats. If the player learns enough about how to control the boat it
> sure as hell wouldn't break down into "attack enemy. again. again.",

That's the other half of this: "you meet an orc in a corridor" works
once. To keep things interesting, you have to go for more exotic forms
of combat. Fights on sailboats, fights in the rigging, fights hanging
from the bottom of bridges, fights on rafts in whitewater, etc. It's
the type of consideration thats involved in pen-and-paper RPGing too -
and, come to think of it, in static fiction as well.

IMHO, the circumstances behind each fight and the tactical
considerations in each will make them succeed or fail, not the system
used to implement them.

Joe (wondering if he can fit sailboats into his game somehow)

Skeleton

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

>> USE BONETTIES DEFENSE
>Inigo: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?
>Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
>Inigo: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?
>
>> USE TIBAL
>Man in black: Naturally...but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero.
>Don't you?
>Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa...which I have.

This dialogue reminds me of MAGIC, the card game.

I've never played this game, so I'm not sure, but :
- it simulates a fight,
- the spacial position of the fighters doesn't matter,
- the fighters don't play at the same time.

So maybe the rules of this game can help.

George Caswell

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

On Sun, 31 May 1998, Joe Mason wrote:

> > ATTACK GUARD
>
> (for axample) will simply either run the entire fight, giving you a good
> vivid description, or it will make an opening move and abort it ("You
> move in low, but because of the guard's position in the doorway, you are
> forced to come straight on - a useless gesture. His sword flicks out,
> forcing you back to your original position."), making it clear that
> another tactic must be used. Combats with more depth will be broken
> into chunks, ended not by single blows, but by "interesting events" -
> someone else comes in, the enemy stumbles and you end up with your sword
> at his throat, the ground heaves, he manages to disarm you, etc.
>

That sounds workable to me...

> > One variation you might try for shits and giggles is combat between
> > sailboats. If the player learns enough about how to control the boat it
> > sure as hell wouldn't break down into "attack enemy. again. again.",
>
> That's the other half of this: "you meet an orc in a corridor" works
> once. To keep things interesting, you have to go for more exotic forms
> of combat. Fights on sailboats, fights in the rigging, fights hanging
> from the bottom of bridges, fights on rafts in whitewater, etc. It's
> the type of consideration thats involved in pen-and-paper RPGing too -
> and, come to think of it, in static fiction as well.
>

For that matter, the right environment could make a fight into
something altogether different, a more standard strategy puzzle with a
competing AI.

---GEC


George Caswell

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May 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/31/98
to

On Sun, 31 May 1998, Neil K. wrote:

> George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote:
>
> > If I insult you, it's not for not implementing a combat system [...]
>
> Never fear. It actually said quite a lot about you. Thanks!
>

No doubt fulfilling a long-time dream of yours. I am, after all, a
living work of art.

Seriously, now. Is mud-slinging all you're really interested in here?
I'm more interested in whether anything sunk in. I don't want to see
creativity and brainstorming stomped to the ground by defeatist jerks. I
ask because your replies seem concerned with the noise portion of my posts
rather than the substance.

---GEC


Gunther Schmidl

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Jun 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/1/98
to

> For that matter, the right environment could make a fight into
>something altogether different, a more standard strategy puzzle with a
>competing AI.

Yay! The Command & Conquer text adventure!

>SOLDIERS 1 THROUGH 10, FORM GROUP 1.
"Affirmative."

>GROUP 1, MOVE TO NEXT GUARD TOWER.
The group move off.

>Z. Z. Z.
Oh no! The group have walked into an enemy ambush!
[Message from Group 2: Orca base destroyed]
[EVA message: Group 3 has just been wiped out]

>GROUP 1, ATTACK, SHOOT TO KILL.
"You got it."

>GO TO BASE
[Base]

>BUILD TANYA
[Building Tanya... 25% complete]

>BUILD MCV
[Building MCV... 3% complete]

>Z. Z. Z. Z. Z. Z. Z. Z.
[Message from Group 3: We have wiped out the enemy]
[Tanya complete]
[MCV complete]

>TANYA, WRECK MAYHEM ON EVERYONE
"Cha-chinggg!"

etc.
--
+------------------------+----------------------------------------------+
| Gunther Schmidl | "I couldn't help it. I can resist everything |
| Ferd.-Markl-Str. 39/16 | except temptation" -- Oscar Wilde |
| A-4040 LINZ +----------------------------------------------+
| Tel: 0732 25 28 57 | http://gschmidl.home.ml.org - new & improved |
+------------------------+---+------------------------------------------+
| sothoth (at) usa (dot) net | please remove the "xxx." before replying |
+----------------------------+------------------------------------------+

michael...@ey.com

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Jun 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/1/98
to

> Seriously, now. Is mud-slinging all you're really interested in here?
> I'm more interested in whether anything sunk in. I don't want to see
> creativity and brainstorming stomped to the ground by defeatist jerks. I
> ask because your replies seem concerned with the noise portion of my posts
> rather than the substance.
>
> ---GEC
>

Jesus, it must be something in the water this season...

Too much noise can drown out substance, regardless of how valid your point is.
Even a thoughtful and incisive comment comes off as asinine if the speaker
insists on making an ass of himself.

> > > If I insult you, it's not for not implementing a combat system [...]
> >

I would contend that if you insult someone, it's because you're looking for a
quick, cheapjack method of grabbing attention, rather than taking the time to
construct a compelling, well-worded argument.

It really shouldn't even have to be repeated -- personal attacks, whether
hypothetical, rhetorical, conditional, or in jest, are inappropriate. And
deliberately provoking your audience just just for the thrill of
acting superior when someone reacts angrily is plain childish.

'Scuse me, I'm gonna go put on my asbestos suit, now.

--M.

George Caswell

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Jun 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/1/98
to

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998, Gunther Schmidl wrote:

> > For that matter, the right environment could make a fight into
> >something altogether different, a more standard strategy puzzle with a
> >competing AI.
>
> Yay! The Command & Conquer text adventure!
>

It's a possibility.. But actually I was thinking more along the lines
of the regular strategy puzzles you see in a lot of IF and in games like
7th guest. I guess it wouldn't be so much changing combat into a puzzle
as changing a regular puzzle into combat.

---GEC


George Caswell

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Jun 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/1/98
to

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998 michael...@ey.com wrote:

>
> > Seriously, now. Is mud-slinging all you're really interested in here?
> > I'm more interested in whether anything sunk in. I don't want to see
> > creativity and brainstorming stomped to the ground by defeatist jerks. I
> > ask because your replies seem concerned with the noise portion of my posts
> > rather than the substance.
> >
> > ---GEC
> >
>
> Jesus, it must be something in the water this season...
>

Well, my water supply has a slight concentration of plutonium... could
that do it?

> Too much noise can drown out substance, regardless of how valid your point is.
> Even a thoughtful and incisive comment comes off as asinine if the speaker
> insists on making an ass of himself.
>

<shrug> Ah, but on the other hand, who gives a shit? More precisely,
who who tries not to take themselves too seriously gives a shit?

I agree, too much noise can drown out substance... but, well, I don't
care. It's more fun to say what I mean, rather than edit myself a dozen
times until all my insults are backhanded compliments full of conditions,
all my points are whittled down to stubs, and the resulting post causes a
flamewar anyway...

> > > > If I insult you, it's not for not implementing a combat system [...]
> > >
>
> I would contend that if you insult someone, it's because you're looking for a
> quick, cheapjack method of grabbing attention, rather than taking the time to
> construct a compelling, well-worded argument.
>

That's possible. Again, I'm not losing sleep over it.

---GEC


Jason Westman

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Jun 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/2/98
to

Skeleton wrote:
>
> >> USE BONETTIES DEFENSE
> >Inigo: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?
> >Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
> >Inigo: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?
> >
> >> USE TIBAL
> >Man in black: Naturally...but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero.
> >Don't you?
> >Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa...which I have.
>
> This dialogue reminds me of *****, the card game.

please... do not mention this game...

Norns,
=> Jason!
--
"Usenet is not a right."
"Usenet is a right, a left, a jab, and a sharp uppercut to the jaw. The
postman hits! You have new mail."

L. Ross Raszewski

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Jun 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/2/98
to

In article <357382C0...@starplace.compassion>,
Jason Westman <matan...@starplace.compassion> wrote:

>
> Skeleton wrote:
> > This dialogue reminds me of *****, the card game.
>
> please... do not mention this game...
>

Heh. but it does remind me of a fight system in a really cvool RPG I once
played called "New Horizons". in "duel" mode battles, your character had 8
"cards" shown at the bottom of the window, each had a maneuver (strike, lash,
thrust if attacking, parry, block, dodge if defending) and a point value. you
chose which card to play (the chosen card was replaced by a new card), and
NPC drew a card of his own from a separate, unseen pack. Certain defences
completwely cancelled certain offecnes -- dodge against strike, parry against
thrust, block against lash -- otherwise, your damage was a factor of the point
value of the attacking card, the point value of the defending card, the
weapon's attack value, and the armor's defensive value. Your skill as a
fighter was reflected in the average point value of the cards you were dealt.

It was pretty good, once you worked out how it all worked

David Glasser

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Jun 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/2/98
to

Gunther Schmidl <sot...@xxx.usa.net> wrote:

> > For that matter, the right environment could make a fight into
> >something altogether different, a more standard strategy puzzle with a
> >competing AI.
>
> Yay! The Command & Conquer text adventure!

(snippidee doodah)

You mean you didn't play Bad Guys?

--David "Ed 'Virus "plug, plug" Games' Dallas" Glasser
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com | dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us
http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser | http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/6028
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Interactive Fiction! MST3K! David Eddings! Macintosh!

Phil Goetz

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Jun 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/4/98
to

I've been on a MUSH where people spent a distressingly large amount
of time in text combat. I think they enjoy it. (I always duck out
when combat threatens, because I regard it as three hours of boredom.)

The key, I think, is that they have fun describing what they're doing
to each other. So one thing to consider is that text combat could work
much better in multiplayer games.

Phil Go...@zoesis.com

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